Years ago, going to college was not seen as an attainable reality for many Bronx students. They believed that college was not for them or that going would be too difficult. Since The Bronx GEAR UP Network program began, we have helped thousands of students defy that perception. Our students have gone to college, graduated with full degrees, and gone on to make something of themselves. Many of them even go on to give back to the larger Bronx community. However, none of them would have made it to where they are today if they hadn't done one thing, which is actually the title of our Bronx Institute GEAR UP magazine: "Changing Attitudes and Changing Lives" in the process.
You can be a student who goes on to change their life for the better. You can move forward in ways you never thought possible, and wind up doing things you could never have seen yourself being able to do. All you need to do is get rid of the thought that you can't do something, and start taking steps to make sure that you accomplish your goals. If there is a subject that you are struggling with, get the help you need to improve, whether that is going for extra help or taking extra time to study at the library. If you are aiming to go to a specific college, do your research and explore every avenue that would make that happen, including financial aid and scholarships. Putting in extra effort to get what you want is not only a good way to reach those goals, but also a good way to encourage yourself. This way, you can see for yourself that you are making progress and what you can do to keep making progress.
The people around you, from your family and friends to the GEAR UP staff, all want you to have the best, most meaningful life. All of the programs GEAR UP offers, including advisement and college visits, are designed to inspire you in the best way that we know how. The GEAR UP program and the other forms of support that you have are here to help you attain your goals, but your support can only do so much if you are not willing to put in the work. No one can take you to a point that you yourself are not willing to go. If you allow yourself to be inspired and work with purpose, you will find that your life will change in positive ways. The only one that might be standing in your way is you.